Himawari House by Harmony Becker

Disclaimer: I received this finished copy and an e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Himiwari House

Author: Harmony Becker

Book Series: Standalone for now

Diversity: Half Japanese MC
Japanese side characters
Korean MC
Singaporean MC

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For…: Young adult readers, contemporary, romance, graphic novel

Genre: YA Contemporary Graphic Novel

Publication Date: November 9, 2021

Publisher: First Second

Pages: 374

Recommended Age: 13+ (Underage consumption of alcohol, Parental abandonment, Language, Romance, Sexual content)

Explanation of CWs: Implied and very little sexual content shown. Parental abandonment shown and mentioned. Alcohol usage shown by at least one minor (in USA terms, Nao is 18) and some alcohol consumption is shown by adults. There is some romance in this book, it’s a misunderstanding trope.

Synopsis: Living in a new country is no walk in the park―Nao, Hyejung, and Tina can all attest to that. The three of them became fast friends through living together in the Himawari House in Tokyo and attending the same Japanese cram school. Nao came to Japan to reconnect with her Japanese heritage, while Hyejung and Tina came to find freedom and their own paths. Though each of them has her own motivations and challanges, they all deal with language barriers, being a fish out of water, self discovery, love, and family.

Review: This was such a gorgeous and amazing read! I fell in love instantly with the characters and I loved how well developed they were. I also loved how authentic their words were and while Western media has long made fun of people who have accents and mispronounce words occasionally, I felt like this gave people learning new languages and/or those who aren’t native speakers to a language a safe space to be in. I also loved the conversations the book had about cultural assimilation and fitting into a culture that you’re from, but haven’t been apart of or had any contact with in awhile. The book was also gorgeously illustrated and I’m dying for more stories of this world.

My only tiny issue with the book is that I was a little lost in the beginning but it works very well for this book as we’re just as lost as Naochan. It also felt a little weird with most of the different chapters being time skips and some not.

Verdict: It was amazing and I highly recommend it.

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